Kuemper starts Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final vs. Lightning

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Colorado Avalanche turned to goaltender Darcy Kuemper for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night.

Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar was previously undecided on whether Kuemper or backup Pavel Francouz would start the series-opening contest.

Goalie (2022 playoffs) GP SV% GAA GSAA GSAx
Darcy Kuemper 10 .897 2.65 -3.05 -4.39
Pavel Francouz 6 .906 2.86 -0.71 -1.06

(Analytics source: Evolving-Hockey)

Kuemper sustained an upper-body injury during the first game of the Western Conference Final versus the Edmonton Oilers. He didn't play for the remainder of the Avalanche's four-game sweep, but he dressed as the backup for the series finale and later said he'd completely recovered from the ailment.

Francouz was steady in place of the No. 1 netminder, holding back the Oilers' high-octane offense with a .908 save percentage and 2.81 goals against average. He made a statement with a 24-save shutout in Game 2.

The Czech native also had to take over in the first round after Kuemper exited Game 3 with an eye injury and didn't suit up for Game 4. Francouz authored a .902 save percentage across two appearances in relief against the Nashville Predators to help Colorado complete the sweep.

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Kuemper starts Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final vs. Lightning
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